Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said 75 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the city are asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms, and asserted that the number of serious patients and deaths caused by the infection is "less".
"The number of serious patients is less. The number of COVID-19 -19 deaths is very less," he said, a day after his government was attacked for "under-reporting" the deaths.
On Saturday, Congress leader Ajay Maken sought more transparency from the Kejriwal government and Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari urged the chief minister to "tell the truth", saying people have a right to know about the severity of the outbreak.
Officials of the 10 hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have said the number of people dead due to the virus is higher than what the Delhi government's bulletin reflects.
A confusion has prevailed over the exact number of deaths as the data from four hospitals showed that 92 people succumbed to the infection against 68 reported by the government till Friday.
However, Kejriwal said on Sunday that 73 people have died due to the virus.
He said Delhi has reported 6,923 coronavirus cases, out of which 2,069 have recovered, while 91 patients are in ICU and 27 are on ventilator support.
It has been observed that 82 per cent of people dead were above the age of 50, Kejriwal said, requesting senior citizens to take precautionary measures against the infection.
"Out of 6,923 COVID-19 patients, only 1,476 are admitted to hospitals," he said, adding that the rest are getting treatment at their homes and COVID-19 care centres.
Addressing an online briefing, Kejriwal said those asymptomatic or showing mild symptoms need not to be admitted to hospitals and can be provided treatment at home.
"Our team makes inspection of their home to ascertain whether social isolation can be observed or not. Our teams are in regular touch with such people and if needed, family members of affected person can contact officials," he said.
If there is no sufficient space at home to ensure social isolation, the government sends the patient to a COVID-19 care centre where he/she can stay for 14 days, he said.
He said the government has attached the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital with two-three five-star hotels where frontline warriors, infected by COVID-19, are being treated.
"It pained me when I heard that the Opposition was criticising our move. I want to ask you whether corona warriors should not be given better facility," he said.
This is not the time to do politics but time to work together against the virus, the Aam Aadmi Party chief said.
He said his government is requisitioning ambulances of private hospitals to meet the shortage. "It doesn't mean that these private ambulances can not provide service to their attached hospitals. They will have to be pressed into government services when we require the same. I hope with this move, there would be no shortage," he said.
Kejriwal also appealed to migrant workers to not leave Delhi.
"If anyone wants to leave, the government will make arrangements, but don't leave on your own. We have sent two trains to Madhya Pradesh and Bihar recently," he said.
On Sunday, 150 migrants, who were sheltered at a Delhi government facility in Nehru Vihar amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown, were sent to their home state Punjab by bus.
Kejriwal said his government is in talks with Centre to arrange more trains for migrants.
"Migrant labourers are still on the road, trying to get to their homes. Their condition is very unfortunate since they are walking for days. They have not eaten for days They are carrying children on shoulder... This makes me feel all governments and all systems have failed," he said.
It is very disappointing to see people walking without food or help, the chief minister said.
He urged the people of Delhi to stay wherever they are as the lockdown will be lifted soon.
"This lockdown is going to end soon, and everything will be back on track. You will get employed again because everything will start running again. Please do not leave Delhi," he said.